Complaints policy

This policy is designed to provide a positive response to complaints and comments, and ensure that Swiis is open to improvements based on feedback.

Swiis has developed a written procedure for considering complaints made by a client and by the temporary worker engaged with Swiis. Swiis believes that its clients, temporary workers and other stakeholders have a fundamental right to have their views heard and to be taken notice of in the development of the service.  These views may be in the form of a complaint about the service, constructive ideas for how to improve the service or in the form of a compliment about how a service was delivered. Even a complaint, properly resolved to the satisfaction of all parties, can be a learning experience from which Swiis can improve its practice.

It should be noted that in some cases Swiis will be unable to lead a complaint investigation made by a client, or a complaint made by a patient or service of the client as Swiis does not provide a direct service to the end user and therefore is not able or permitted to access sensitive information held by that client as part of any investigation.  If this is the case Swiis will work proactively with the client in support of a client’s investigation and provide all necessary information required and take appropriate action with the temporary worker in the interim period of such investigation.

All complaints and comments contribute to the quality assurance function and provide vital information to inform the future policy, planning and development of the service, as well as identifying the areas of the service which are successful and valued. They help to identify any gaps in service provision and should lead to the development of improved services.

  • Swiis will keep a central record of all formally received complaints and compliments and use these to inform practice and service delivery in accordance with ISO 9001 standards.
  • Swiis will ensure that written information about its complaints procedures and how to access this is made available to all its stakeholders.
  • Swiis will ensure that individuals are aware of their right to comment or complain and are empowered to use this opportunity without fear of reprisal, and will actively encourage comments on the working practices of Swiis.
  • Swiis will actively promote clients, temporary workers and other stakeholders access to information about their right to complain, and will provide further information, support and guidance, if requested to do so.
  • Swiis apply a two-stage complaint model for the investigation and resolution of complaints;
    • Standard investigation: relevant for behavior, timekeeping, attitude or other general concerns
    • Formal Investigation: Clinical / safeguarding / medication errors
  • All complaints/representations will be taken seriously and dealt with promptly to ensure their resolution and prevent their escalation.
  • All complaints will be dealt with in a timely manner and the timescales made known to all complainants.
  • Wherever possible there will be opportunity to resolve the matter informally.
  • Complainants will be kept informed of the progress of a complaint investigation at all stages and will receive written notification of its outcome.
  • All complaints will be monitored and notified to the Director of Operations and any serious complaint regarding a temporary worker’s practice may be notified to the relevant professional body or relevant Barring Scheme. The outcome of all complaints and representations will be regularly evaluated to inform continuous service improvement and development.

Types of Complaint

1. Complaints about a Temporary Worker

A client or end user may make a complaint about any aspect of the temporary worker’s performance or conduct whilst engaged with that client through Swiis.  A complaint of this nature will by default be investigated according to Stage 1 however if any such complaint involves a safeguarding concern or clinical concern the complaint will be investigated according to Stage 2.

2. Complaints by a Temporary Worker

A temporary worker may make a complaint about any aspect of the services offered by Swiis or have concerns about any aspect of another temporary workers working practice, a client’s employees working practices or the efficacy of the client’s processes, they have a duty to report their concerns and must be supported by Swiis to do so, with clear processes in place. This may involve a complaint about Swiis’ provision as an employment business, internal staff practices, in the delivery of Swiis’ services to the temporary worker or a complaint from temporary worker that concerns the practices or processes of the end client with whom they are engaged by as a Swiis temporary worker.

3. Anonymous Complaints

If a complaint is received anonymously, the Operations Manager will decide whether the complaint is to be formally investigated, although it is likely that any investigation will be limited by the referrer’s anonymity. All referrers will be encouraged to give their name, however the complaint will be given appropriate consideration (depending on the nature and severity of the complaint), even if the referrer prefers to remain anonymous.

4. Withdrawal of Complaints

Any complainant may choose to withdraw their complaint at any stage of the process if they so wish. A complaint may be withdrawn by informing the Operations Manager, in writing, who will stop the procedure and will then write to the complainant confirming the withdrawal of the complaint.

5. Complaints about the provision of services

A temporary worker or a client may make a complaint about any aspect of the services offered by Swiis.

Complaints Handling Procedures

These procedures do not replace or invalidate safeguarding, whistleblowing, grievance or disciplinary procedures, which can run concurrently with a complaint or other representation. In all matters, safeguarding of children and young people and vulnerable adults must be regarded as the paramount concern and all appropriate policies followed accordingly.

As aforementioned it should be noted that in some cases Swiis will be unable to lead a complaint investigation made by a client, or a complaint made by a patient or service of the client as Swiis does not provide a direct service to the end user and therefore is not able or permitted to access sensitive information held by that client as part of any investigation.  If this is the case Swiis will work proactively with the client in support of a client’s investigation and provide all necessary information required and take appropriate action with the temporary worker in the interim period of such investigation.

The Operations Manager for Swiis (UK) Limited is Dale Elliott. The Operations Manager can be contacted on 0333 577 1000 or dale.elliott@swiis.com  – Rear of 26 to 28 Packhorse Road, Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire, SL9 7DA.

All complaints about the Operations Manager will be referred to the Director of Operations.  All complaints about the Director of Operations will be referred to the Chief Executive Officer.

Stage – Standard Investigation (Non-Clinical)

Every opportunity shall be made for any complaint to be resolved at an early stage. A complaint must be registered by contacting either the Operations Manager or the Director of Operations, either in writing, by telephone, e-mail or personal contact.

Receipt of the complaint will be acknowledged within 24 hours.

The person identified as the most appropriate to respond to the complainant will lead on the complaint at this stage; in most cases this will be the Operations Manager (unless the complaint is about the Operations Manager), in which case the complaint will be given to the Director of Operations to progress.

This stage of the process should be completed within 7 days of the commencement of the investigation unless it is exceptionally agreed with the complainant that this period may be extended. The person investigating will provide a written outcome to include findings and recommendations for the resolution of the complaint which will be made available to the complainant.

Complaints from a client about the unsatisfactory practice of a temporary worker engaged by Swiis will be investigated in all cases by the Operations Manager. In investigating such a complaint, the Operations Manager will follow the below process.

Standard Investigation (Non Clinical)

Stage – Formal Investigation (Clinical or Safeguarding Related)

The complaint will be acknowledged in writing within 24 hours including details of the proposed investigation and timescales.

The complaint will be investigated by the Operations Manager, or another Investigator identified by the Operations Manager. If the complaint is of a clinical nature (including medication error), a member of the Swiis Nurse Assessment team (Senior Registered Nurse) will be involved with the investigation.

The Operations Manager will appoint an appropriately skilled investigator who in the case of nursing staff will be the Nurse Assessor (Registered Nurse) and in the case of Social Work and Care staff will be the Social Work Assessor (Registered Social Worker) who will prepare a detailed de brief report of their investigation, conclusions and recommendations for the resolution of the complaint. This report should be completed within 3 days unless it is agreed with the complainant that this period may be extended.

It may be deemed appropriate depending on the nature of the complaint that the temporary worker is removed from assignment pending the outcome of the investigation and in all cases Swiis will liaise with the client as to whether this is necessary or not.

In cases of extreme concerns, the temporary workers may be placed on hold during the investigation. Professional and NMC / HCPC guidelines will be applied in such a situation.

In investigating the complaint, the skilled investigator will as a minimum undertake a de brief directly with the temporary worker, linking the concerns to the part of the professional codes of conduct relevant to the profession i.e. Nurse or Social Worker.

The de-brief report will be sent to the complainant for further consideration and to support the investigation of the client’s own internal investigation. If the complaint process is resolved with a positive outcome (without recommendations) the temporary worker will resume the assignment/resume shifts. However, should the complaint investigation outcome evidence failings of the nurse or social worker, which include recommendations to Swiis in terms of either training, Swiis will facilitate the recommendations with immediate effect as part of the temporary worker’s professional development. If the complaint outcome is negative the temporary worker will be removed from further assignments/bookings with Swiis with that client and if necessary (and with the support of the client) a referral may be made to the relevant professional body.

Formal Investigation (Clinical or Safeguarding Related)

Recording and Reporting

All complaints must be recorded using the template spreadsheet, providing details of the complaint, the date it was made and to whom, the investigation undertaken, the outcome and the complainant’s response and a brief description about any “lessons learned” from the complaint that Swiis should be mindful of for future practice. This is in addition to appropriate recording within the temporary worker file, where appropriate.

The Complaints Monitoring Spreadsheet must be collated by the relevant Operations Mana